- March 13, 1933 – Ted Dreier to his mother – “Confidential”
It was awfully good to get your letter recently. This is certainly a never-to-be forgotten year. Roosevelt is making a good start, but I do hope he can keep his own party back of him better than they showed signs of doing in Congress when he asked for authority to cut veteran’s pensions.
We have been having plenty of local excitement here, too: Several teachers have been dismissed by Dr. Holt, and many of the faculty are as afraid of losing their jobs as though they were ordinary hired labor. The whole attitude of the administration has been extraordinarily reactionary lately and some of us have thought that we could hardly continue here if things kept going the way they were. It is hard to understand, but I think that Dr. Holt has let himself become seared by the lack of discipline and the way some of his ideas were working out, and has acted autocratically and I think very unwisely in many things. One matter that got us worried more than anything was the dismissal of Mr. Rice, who, I think, is without question, the best teacher on the campus. He has a very sharp tongue and has at times been very unwise and even insulting in the use of it. But this has been going on with diminishing intensity for 3 years (since he first came) and the dismissal came soon after Mr. Rice had served on several committees that had been in disagreement with Dr. Holt. The whole college – faculty and students – have been terribly upset by it and the morale got very low for a time, especially after the dismissal was confirmed after a reconsideration. Students and faculty kept after Dr. Holt, however, and after he had expressed willingness to see them, a group of more than half the whole faculty went to Dr. Holt together, not to argue or plead – but simply to bear testimony of what River meant on campus. Dr. Holt said he had heard nothing now to change his decision, but we got the impression that if Rice changed his tactics somewhat, there might be another reconsideration.
Rice’s attitude has been very fine and he succeeded in quieting everybody down after that. We are now very hopeful and the air is cleared somewhat. If. However, by May 1st or so the decision is not changed, I think there will be an uproar and probably a split in both faculty and students in the whole college.
Bobby and I have been having quite a wonderful winter together with our children, since she got back from a much-needed rest at Chinsegut. She had been very tired after the baby, and I had worn her terribly so that we had even thought we might have to separate. But while she rested, I was able to relax enough to do away with some of the feeling of pressure that I somehow communicated to the whole household, and when she came back we were able to meet again on a deeper plane and we feel great confidence in our ability to work things out together now. Life is becoming much more real now-a-days to us, and it is getting to be a good feeling.
We have wondered a good deal about coming back next year. We shall probably do it, but sometime we want to live simply on a farm or in the country at least and sometime we want to go abroad to do some more studying. We have thought of doing both of these, though it will probably be better to wait until times are a little better and Mark is a little older. I want to study both physics and psychology.
Quite a number of things seem to be becoming clarified this winter. I feel that I definitely know that education is the field I am really most interested in. I want to complete my training in physics so that I really know that subject. But I am as interested in babies as in students of college age, and I intend to take my time and learn and practice as I can.
We are looking forward to a quiet summer spent almost entirely in our camp which is now in order. You and father will have to visit us there for a week or so if possible. If Barbara and the children go right up to the Lake from here perhaps I can stop for a few days at Sunken Meadow on the way up.
Your “wind fall” sounds like a perfectly wonderful thing at this time. Our little house here is pretty crowded even with the little garage house, and we are looking for something a little bit bigger for next year. I may be better in the end to spend $150 for still another little outside house because our location is hard to match. Are you sure you can spare such a sum in these times? I really think we had better not count on so much. If we find any other house that is suitable we’ll see what we can do.
Ever so much love mother dear from Theodore…
P.S. About Aunt Benini – Rollins is economizing so much now that I doubt whether she could be paid anything. However, it might be worth trying. I should say write to Miss Annie Russell, Rollins College. Miss Russell has had quite a series of programs this year and has been very disappointed because she has not been able to meet expenses. The end of April is apt to be hot here, and a good many of the townspeople will have gone back north.